The lesser striped swallow (Cecropis abyssinica) is a large swallow. It breeds in sub-Saharan Africa from Sierra Leone and southern Sudan south into eastern South Africa. It is partially migratory with South African birds wintering further north. West African birds leave the north of the breeding range in the dry season.

This is a bird of wooded, mainly lowland habitats, and is replaced in montane grassland by the greater striped swallow, Hirundo cucullata. It is common and often found around human habitation. The lesser striped swallow builds a bowl-shaped mud nest with a tubular entrance on the underside of a suitable structure. The nest has a soft lining, and may be reused in later years. The nest may be built in a cave or under a rock overhang or a tree branch. This species has benefited from its willingness to use buildings, bridges, culverts and similar structures. Given the choice, it will select a high nest site.

The eggs are glossy white sometimes with a few brown spots; three eggs is a typical clutch. Incubation is by the female alone for 14–16 days to hatching. Both parents then feed the chicks. Fledging takes another 17–19 days, but the young birds will return to the nest to roost for a few days after the first flight.

The lesser striped swallow is 15–10 cm long. It has dark blue upperparts with a red rump and a rufous-chestnut crown, nape and sides of the head. The underparts are white with dark streaking, and the upper wings and underwing flight feathers are blackish-brown. The underwing coverts are tawny. The blackish tail has very long outer feathers; these are slightly longer in the male than the female. Juveniles are duller and browner, with less contrast and shorter outer tail feathers. There are five or six subspecies differing in the extent of the underpart streaking

The lesser striped swallow has heavier and darker underparts striping, a deeper red rump, and a brighter head colour than the larger greater striped swallow. The lesser also prefers less open habitats. It feeds mainly on flying insects, but has been known to eat small fruits. The flight is erratic, and the call is a nasal zeh zeh zeh zeh zeh.
Lesser Striped-Swallow
Date Location Count
2020-02-21 06:30Antwikwaa--forest edge & farm scrub4
2020-02-06 06:45Ebekawopa (Abrafo)--'farm scrub' habitat2
2020-02-01 06:15Ebekawopa (Abrafo)--"stingless bee center" forest patch3
2020-02-22 07:15Malabo--Paseo Marítimo2
2020-02-19 11:11American University of Central Africa (AUCA)1
2020-02-18 12:01Grand Hotel Djibloho2
2020-02-19 05:58Bosque Científica--Selva Primaria1
2020-01-25 08:00Waterberg Plateau NP5
2020-02-03 13:33Queen Elizabeth II NP--Mweya2
2020-01-30 08:00Bwindi-Impenetrable Forest NP--Buhoma8
2020-01-30 07:00Bwindi-Impenetrable Forest NP--Rushaga area trails4
2020-02-12 07:06Queen Elizabeth II NP20
2020-02-03 07:15Chimpanzee Guesthouse12
2020-02-18 10:23Bigodi Swamp2
2020-02-18 13:00Murchison Falls NP--Nile River3
2020-01-26 06:47Nyabarongo River
2020-02-16 08:33Budongo Forest Reserve--Royal Mile2
2020-02-08 07:53Lake Mburo NP3
2020-01-29 09:20Kakoge20
2020-02-13 10:35Nkima Forest Lodge7
2020-02-06 09:30Mabamba Swamp4
2020-02-02 16:30Imbabala Safari Camp25
2020-02-04 07:15Masaai Mara NR--Mara River (North)10
2020-02-21 14:57Serengeti NP--Kubu Kubu Tented Lodge1
2020-02-11 08:44Serengeti NP--Seronera2
2020-02-21 06:59Serengeti NP--Lake Magadi5
2020-02-13 06:30Serengeti NP6
2020-01-29 10:18Lake Baringo--Inshore Cliffs and surrounds1
2020-01-30 07:46Lake Baringo--West Shore (incl. Baringo Club and Robert's Camp and airstrip)2
2020-02-11 07:30Ngorongoro Conservation Area--Ndutu (general area)2
2020-02-13 07:21Kfeet, Wetlands & Lily Lake, Karura Forest8
2020-02-17 07:21Karura Forest, Muthaiga8
2020-01-25 08:36Windsor Golf Hotel and Country Club, Marurui3
2020-01-26 13:18Wajee Camp and Mukurweini area6
2020-02-16 07:51Nairobi NP4
2020-02-13 12:07Tarangire NP--Tarangire Safari Lodge5
2020-02-19 07:15Tarangire NP--Lemiyon Circuit Grasslands8
2020-02-20 07:00Tarangire NP10
2020-02-01 07:40Swara Plains Conservancy and Acacia Camp (formerly Hopcraft Ranch/Game Ranching Ltd.)2
2020-02-15 06:15Ruaha NP4
2020-02-16 08:30Magongo Hills3
2020-02-16 08:04Arusha NP8
2020-02-22 06:00Ngare Sero Mountain Lodge2
2020-01-24 14:30Big and Small Momela Lakes2
2020-01-25 16:00Ndarakwai Ranch4
2020-01-25 08:02Kilimanjaro Golf & Wildlife Estate
2020-02-03 07:21Amboseli NP10
2020-01-28 16:55College of African Wildlife Management4
2020-01-30 07:32Vaalkop Dam Nature Reserve1
2020-02-11 08:00Hondo Hondo Udzungwa Forest Camp2
2020-02-21 15:10Sagala Lodge/Ndara Ranch4
2020-02-19 17:14Cradle of Humankind WHS3
2020-02-15 08:12Zaagkuildrift Rd (Please be more specific)2
2020-02-18 06:26Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden2
2020-02-02 10:34Rooiwal WTP1
2020-02-16 06:49Eagle Canyon Golf Estate2
2020-01-29 16:52Norscot Koppies Kingfisher Nature Reserve3
2020-02-18 07:41Rietvlei Nature Reserve7
2020-01-25 05:40Wilge River Valley (upper)7
2020-01-25 12:47Qodesh Campground1
2020-02-02 16:16Selous Game Reserve--Lake Manze2
2020-02-08 15:12Buda Dam
2020-02-08 14:29Nimbodze Swamp, Msambweni
2020-01-25 02:50Loskop Dam Nature Reserve19
2020-01-25 02:06Kruger NP--Mahonie Loop/S991
2020-02-08 07:33Tiwi Swamp
2020-02-08 12:51Msambweni--Mukurumudzi River and Estuary
2020-01-25 21:15Kruger NP--Pafuri Gate to Luvuvhu River/H1-91
2020-02-09 16:13Diani Golf Club
2020-02-10 09:13Diani--Kaya Kinondo
2020-02-10 07:27Kongo River Estuary @ Tiwi Beach
2020-01-25 16:30Mida Creek2
2020-02-02 08:24Arabuko-Sokoke NP--Kenya Forest Service1
2020-01-24 07:01Lake Chem Chem
2020-02-02 06:19Mwamba Field Study Centre
2020-01-25 18:50Kruger NP--Pafuri Picnic Site1
2020-02-07 08:25Sabaki River Estuary
2020-02-09 17:27Manta Resort8
2020-02-08 06:26Kruger NP--Babalala Picnic Spot2
2020-02-15 09:37Jozani Chwaka Bay NP1
2020-01-23 22:55Kruger NP--Shimuwini Bushveld Camp4
2020-01-23 21:54Kruger NP--Phalaborwa Gate to Letaba bridge (H14)1
2020-02-19 15:12Addo Elephant NP--Main Rest Camp4
2020-02-01 06:55Nelspruit--Lowveld National Botanical Garden3
2020-02-11 08:21Kruger NP--Phabeni to Skukuza2
2020-02-22 10:13Sabi Sands Game Reserve--Tydon Safari Camp3
2020-02-16 06:00Kruger NP--S32
2020-01-30 05:23Kruger NP--Skukuza-Nkuhlu Road/H4-16
2020-01-30 15:35Kruger NP--H12 @ Sabie River7
2020-02-10 07:55Kruger NP--Malelane to Afsaal/H32
2020-01-30 06:35Kruger NP--Salitje Rd/S307
2020-02-22 05:10Macaneta--Tidal wetland, dune forests and coast
2020-02-08 09:06Ndumo GR2
2020-02-01 07:00Maputo Special Reserve--Lagoa Chiguti10
2020-02-05 06:00Phinda GR
2020-02-15 06:58Kuleni Conservancy2